Dr. Ramesh Sachdeva has spent the past 30 years serving in leadership and research roles at institutions throughout the country. In his current position, he serves as executive director of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the leading organization behind some of the most important research and advances in pediatric care.
A recent report issued by AAP urges continued research into the effects of marijuana use on childhood development. With more states legalizing the drug for recreational use, research indicates that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)–the mind-altering chemical found in marijuana–is transmitted to the fetus through the placenta and present in breastmilk as well. These facts are particularly germane given research that indicates women are using marijuana more and more to deal with the effects of morning sickness.
Researchers have found that THC can have a negative effect on neurotransmitters that are responsible for developing networks of nerve cells in children. More research is needed to study the overall effects of marijuana on childhood development, but even so, the AAP says that women should refrain from using the drug while pregnant or breastfeeding.